Islanders 1: Hurricanes 4
When you're more interested in your hair than what's going on during the Isles game, you know it's a bad night for the Long Island boys.
Indeed, the Islanders could not get anything going against the Carolina Hurricanes and thus lost another one, 4-1, at the RBC Center last night. And I? I was busy getting rid of some split ends, which I hardly ever do during hockey. But that's how it was.
All feminine worries aside, the game last night was frustrating on many different levels. The 'Canes only needed two goals in the first period and two goals in the third to put it out of reach for New York: the second period came to naught but a defensive stalemate. The Isles fall to 23-23-8 and stay in 13th place in the conference, and have only scored 6 goals in the last 4 games.
It happened like this. First, on a Carolina power play, Eric Staal powered to the front of the net on a pass from Matt Cullen, got off one shot which Rick DiPietro stopped, then collected the rebound and put it home. DiPietro struggled with rebounds a bit in this match, and not even three minutes after Staal's goal he allowed a bit of a softie by Cullen at a bad angle. The one line that happened to show some signs of life in the first was the "BTO" line- Josh Bailey, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo- which worked hard and forechecked with vigor. Their only flaw was their failure to get the puck past Cam Ward, who made some good saves. The team played well 5-on-5; the only problem was, they kept taking penalties which broke up the flow of their game.
The second, as I stated before, was more of a defensive battle than anything. The Isles were once again letting the Hurricanes bowl them over (at the start of the period, Carolina led New York 8-2 in hits) and not getting bodies to the front of the net. The third opened with a bit more verve from the Isles- they outshot the 'Canes 7-2 at one point, and all looked good. But then a bad mistake on the PP led to the game being practically over.
Mark Streit lost the puck along the near boards, and Stephane Yelle picked it up in the neutral zone. Doug Weight was back covering the odd-man rush that resulted, and Streit wasn't quick enough to help out as Yelle blasted it past DiPietro to make it 3-0. After Matt Moulson scored to make it 3-1, Jussi Jokinen got an empty-netter to end the game.
Perhaps the only bright spot here was Moulson's goal, which is his 20th of the season. He is the first player to reach 20 goals this year for the Islanders. Not bad for a guy who came out of nowhere in the beginning of the season, is it?It'll be interesting to see if he can score 30 by the end of the season.
Well, it's back on the road for the Isles, as they take on Philadelphia in a matinee game at the Wachovia Center tomorrow afternoon. 1 p.m. start, 12:30 pregame on MSG Plus. Be there. Howie Rose will be back on the broadcast, after Kenny Albert (the Rangers' announcer? Really?) subbed for this game and the Washington game.
Notes: Dustin Kohn, newly recalled once more, paired with Freddy Meyer on the blueline, while Andy Sutton played alongside Andrew MacDonald and Mark Streit played with Bruno Gervais (that pairing did not have a good outing, by the way)... Cullen and Staal each scored a goal and an assist, while the top line of Staal, Whitney and Jokinen played quite well... DiPietro made 20 saves, while Ward made 26.
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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Islanders 1: Hurricanes 4